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  1. #1

    Default To rail or not to rail...

    This must be the week with walking the line...
    Stairs have a railing but it appears that it may meet the code (??) but not the spirit or intent??
    Any advice?

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    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
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  2. #2

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    This must be the week with walking the line...
    Stairs have a railing but it appears that it may meet the code (??) but not the spirit or intent??
    Any advice?
    Ps. The railing in the photo does extend uo and around the corner but my issue is...is it really usable?

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,808

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    ... it appears that it may meet the code (??) but not the spirit or intent??
    Any other photos of it?

    Is the handrail continuous around that corner, at the correct height, with the minimum clearance to the wall? That rail looks like it might meet the requirements of graspability: R311.7.8.3, see 1. for Type 1 handrails.

    I From the photo, no, that handrail does not meet the spirit or intent of the code ... but it may very well meet the wording of the code.

    I feel that a code inspector could reject that as the handrail is required for the full length of the stairs, and the minimum tread width is addressed in the stair width, and the tread width there is that last section of tread which is perpendicular to the wall it wraps around to, i.e, the stair where the handrail is does not meet the width requirements, and, the stair part which does meet the width requirements does not meet the handrail requirements. One of those finer points that many AHJ miss or don't grasp.

    One thing I would put in my report is "that the handrail where it is, which is not where it should be, could very possibly lead to a fall down the stairs, and when that happens - DO NOT CALL ME - I am pointing that out to you RIGHT HERE".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,662

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    The fifth tread from the bottom does not meet the tread width requirement due to the clipped corner on that tread ????

    Therefore that entire side of the stairs can not be used to meet code ???

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 04-15-2017 at 06:29 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    Handrails are required on stairwayy We all concur, IRC: The width of each landing shall not be less than the width of the stairway served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. Handrail to be 34” Maximum height to be 38”. Measured from nose of stair treads. and 38 inches respectively, measured vertically from the nosing of the treads, shall be provided on at least one side of stairways with a total rise of 30'' or more.

    By the looks of it, handrails are required on both sides.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 04-15-2017 at 07:22 PM. Reason: update
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    As always I appreciate everyone's input.

    One of the underlying issues we face is even though we are not supposed to be code inspectors we are supposed to know code and also read the AHJ minds even when they are blank!

    - - - Updated - - -

    As always I appreciate everyone's input.

    One of the underlying issues we face is even though we are not supposed to be code inspectors we are supposed to know code and also read the AHJ minds even when they are blank!

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    I can't understand why they didn't choose to put it on the other side of the stairs.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Elden View Post
    I can't understand why they didn't choose to put it on the other side of the stairs.
    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Elden View Post
    I can't understand why they didn't choose to put it on the other side of the stairs.
    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?


  9. #9

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    The answer is easy - new home builder - a penny saved!

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    eastpoint fl
    Posts
    48

    Red face Re: To rail or not to rail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hintz View Post
    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?
    Improved via punctuation: “WTH?! Were they thinking?”

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hintz View Post
    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?
    Improved via punctuation: “WTH?! Were they thinking?”

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hintz View Post
    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I couldn't agree more - WTH were they thinking?
    Improved via punctuation: “WTH?! Were they thinking?”


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,808

    Default Re: To rail or not to rail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    The answer is easy - new home builder - a penny saved!
    Actually, it most likely cost more to put the handrail on the wrong side - that handrail had to follow the wall around instead of just being a straight handrail.

    Stupid is as stupid does, and that is just plain stupid.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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